Will the Queen Have to Decide on Bermuda’s Gay Marriage Ban?

Will the Queen Have to Decide on Bermuda’s Gay Marriage Ban?

It seems like now that Bermuda has recently banned gay and lesbian marriage, the British Monarchy will have to giver her assent to the ban.

Marriage equality was the law of the land in Bermuda after a court ruling, but the Bermuda House and Senate took action to pass the Domestic Partnership Bill to officially ban it.

Bermuda is still a British Overseas Territory, which means that its laws must be given ascension by the British Monarchy,

The law will also cause chaos for the cruise ship industry – as many ships are registered in Bermuda, and had already begin taking bookings for same-sex weddings under Bermudan law.

However, as Bermuda is a  British Overseas Territory, the law must be given Royal Assent on behalf of the British monarchy. In Bermuda, John Rankin is an unelected representative of the Monarchy and gives Royal Assent to laws on behalf of the Queen.

There is a possibility that he could reject the bill completely, but usually this is not the case. Mostly giving ascension to a bill is ceremonial and is carried out without comment, but this new law could change things.


According to PinkNews, who first reported this story, “But the current situation in Bermuda will play to fears of those close to the younger members of the monarchy, whose modernisation work may be undercut by the prospect of a 21st century anti-gay marriage law signed on behalf of the British Monarch.”

The tourism industry is already concerned if the bill is given the final OK.

Kevin Dallas, CEO of the Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA) said: “We feel compelled to express our concern about what the negative consequences could be for tourism if the Domestic Partnership Bill passes the Senate this week. We believe the Bill poses an unnecessary threat to the success of our tourism industry. Same sex marriage is already the law of our island and to roll that back for what will be seen as a less equal
union will cause us serious reputational damage. We are convinced it will result in lost tourism business for Bermuda.”

Cruise ships are also expected to get hit hard by a loss in business. Ships are allowed to perform same-sex ceremonies as long as it’s legal in the country that they are registered to. Major cruise ships advertised same-sex weddings and booked many once gay marriage became law in Bermuda. This puts them in a tight spot.

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